Co-op issues between Lourdes, ISD 535 are resolved

An agreement has been reached with regard to cooperative sports programs between Lourdes and the Rochester public schools.

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John Marshall/Lourdes' Brooklyn Birdseye (6) watches the puck in the air, as it flies next to Century's Frankie Mickelson (3) during a game in January.

An agreement has been reached with regard to cooperative sports programs between Lourdes and the Rochester public schools, and it proposes adding an independent Lourdes girls hockey team.

Lourdes girls hockey players now play on a co-op team with Rochester John Marshall, but RPS has proposed dissolving that and all other current sports co-ops with Lourdes, leading to heated discussion.

An agreement "that has been mutually agreed upon," according to a letter to parents of students in the Rochester Catholic Schools system from RCS director Michael Brennan, will take the form of a resolution that will be presented to the Rochester School District 535 board at its June 21 meeting.

The key points:

• In girls hockey, the co-op will be dissolved after next season and "the RCS Board of Trustees will be supporting the addition of a Lourdes girls hockey program to our roster of athletic opportunities," the letter said.


• The wrestling, boys lacrosse and girls lacrosse co-ops will be extended through the spring of 2019, which the letter states "will afford all Lourdes student athletes presently participating in (those) co-ops the opportunity to compete over the next three years, thus allowing this past year's freshmen the chance to continue in the sport until they graduate."

The co-ops for boys and girls swimming and diving will not be dissolved and therefore will not be part of the resolution.

Brennan added in the letter that "over the past several weeks, we have engaged in meetings with representatives from ISD 535 to discuss concerns, desires, and improved outcomes with respect to cooperative sports agreement resolution recently proposed. We have advocated strongly for our RCS students as well as those of the wider Rochester community, and as intended, we achieved the goal of discussing each sport individually."

He added, "As with all coops, the opportunity to review participation numbers and program viability will be reviewed in the future, affording opportunities to potentially engage in new agreements in the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.

"We are grateful for ISD 535 listening and responding to our concerns regarding students participating in swimming and diving and the minimal options they would have should that particular coop dissolve."

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